With the 3-1 win over the Chicago Fire, the Red Bulls showed a mental and physical fortitude in stoppage time.
They not only shook off a late goal from Nemanja Nikolic, but also answered with a final goal in the last play of the match. When danger waits for the dying moments of matches, the Red Bulls need to show that strength as a squad.
Rare Stoppage Time Strikes
The nail in the coffin from Daniel Royer in the 93rd minute was a rare occurrence for RBNY. Indeed, it has only happened once before this season. Homegrown striker Omir Fernandez was the first player to score in stoppage time this season. His 91st minute goal against FC Cincinnati cemented the lead and secured the three points.
At the time, Fernandez was aware of the value of a stoppage time goal.
“You’re trying to help the team win,” said Fernandez. “And to add that extra goal in those dying moments when we needed it the most.”
Going forward, late daggers could prove the difference between one and three points on the day.
Sharing the Scoring Wealth
A record-breaking sixteen players have contibuted goals so far this season. Leading New York goalscorer Bradley Wright-Phillips, absent since April 20th, has only managed one goal so far. Royer, with five goals this season, mused on the statistic.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter,” said Royer following the match. “What matters is the three points and that we play as a team.”
New York has 30 goals on the season, just four behind Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union. If the team continues in this vein, they could elbow their way up the standings once again.
Looking Like Themselves
There was also a distinct return to the high press, turnover-based attack in the match against Chicago. With only 30% possession, there was a messiness to the team’s play. This should come as no surprise, and is no cause for concern. The Red Bulls going forward can concern themselves less with finesse and more with finishing. Ugly wins are still wins, and eleven- to fourteen -player wins will do the job.
RBNY historian Brian Donaghy contributed to this article.